The Relationship between Freedom of Expression in Entertainment

In class this week we learned about Freedom of Speech. “the right of the people to express their opinions publicly without government interference, subject to the law against libel, incitement to violence or rebellion.”

Now and days people are coming out with music all over the world. The question is should we be able to express whatever we want in our music? Should the government be allowed to have the authority to dictate to the citizens what we may or may not listen to? The relationship between freedom of expression and entertainment runs deep. In the 1980s a rap group existed called 2 Live Crew. The owner of this record was charged in the late 1980s with a criminal obscenity charge. The reason for the charge was against the song lyrics. (ACLU)

When making an album you are considered an artist. An artist has a unique imagination that is expressed in their music. That right there put our freedom of speech to test. “Freedom of expression for ourselves requires freedom of expression for others. It is at the very heart of our democracy (ACLU).” The main things that is targeted in our music is sex. Now sexual lyrics is allowed in music but people have the opportunity to ban it. For example, simple literature such as Mya Angelou’s, “I know why the caged bird sings was banned from public schools because of the literature. This means that to a certain extent sexual content can be suppressed but not censored.
People feel as though having explicit lyrics is a threat to our society. Listening to sexual or violent lyrics causes people to act in destructive ways. Test have been proven about these facts.

What is the cause-and-effect relationship? Studies have shown that children can watch a violent show. They will show violent behavior but will not show violent behavior towards another person. Arguments can never prove if violent tv shows cause people to act violent or if violent people like to watch violent shows. There are two things the government cannot do when it comes to freedom of expression. The first one is content neutrality, which means the government cannot limit expression no matter how bad the lyrics are. The second one is that, “expression may be restricted only if it will clearly cause direct and imminent harm to an important societal interest (ACLU).”

In my opinion, people know the difference between fiction and reality even children. It is going to be our own decisions we make. Lyrics to a song should not force us to do anything. I personally wouldn’t ban any music. You do not know an artist story or why they express themselves the way they do through music. Their music can relate to somebody in the world and it shouldn’t be banned or censored. If you do not think your child should listen to it then as a parent you handle it. As an adult after listening to music you control your actions simple as that.


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